Reddit just announced and opened a “Collectible Avatar” storefront. In this hub you can buy artists’ renditions of the social site’s congenial alien mascot Snoo, except they’re all NFTs. Hold for applause or for a little vomit to come out of your mouth.
Reddit has been shouting its crypto love for years, but recently it’s been particularly interested in marrying its fan-favorite mascot to non-fungible tokens. In 2021, for example, the site released a line of “CryptoSnoos,” which people bought for upward of 100 Ethereum (ETH) each, currently valued at $120 thousand-ish. This January Reddit doubled down and experimented with letting users use NFTs they owned as profile pictures, so the new Collectible Avatar storefront is a culmination of those previous efforts.
In a July 7 blog post, Reddit said buying its Collectible Avatars, which look a bit like themed trading cards, would “provide owners with unique benefits on the Reddit platform.” Those benefits include the ability to dress up your avatar with accessories already available in Reddit’s avatar builder and a “glow-like effect” around your profile picture. I know you’ve likely been waiting your whole life for a glow-like effect around your Reddit profile picture, so try not to piss your pants in excitement.
Though the Collectible Avatars exist on the blockchain, you can buy them for real cash money, too. But everyone who buys an Avatar will store them in Reddit’s proprietary crypto wallet Vault, which is currently in beta. Community points—ETH-based tokens rewarded based on subreddit engagement, something Reddit has been working on since 2019—are also stored in Vault.
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The Collectible Avatars will be available for purchase to the general public within the next few weeks, Reddit says, but you can get more information on Avatar artists and early access by joining r/CollectibleAvatars, a subreddit with a member limit.
If you join, you will immediately be able to purchase a Collectible Avatar from Reddit’s existing avatar builder, but with the Collectible Avatar store added. As of this writing, you can buy an Avatar for as much as $99.99 or as little as $9.99. Some of them are cool-looking, and Reddit told The Verge it only takes 5% of sales for boring blockchain fees, the rest goes to the artist who made them.
Truthfully—I know this is all awful for the Earth, which is already bursting into flames, and it’s likely bad for a social media addict’s wallet—I don’t think buying $9.99 Reddit NFTs with fiat money is too different from buying a sexy League of Legends skin. It’s not very sexy, sure, but neither is the act of playing League of Legends. Since Reddit is no longer making people pay a down payment on a house to get one of its smiling aliens, I’m going to be forgiving and say this thing is just regular capitalism instead of the Web3 kind. Anyway, I’ll see you next year when the San Francisco tech guys announce they’ve made our brains into NFTs, too.